'Lion King,' 'Mary Poppins' and 'Newsies' in millionaires club
The Mouse roared on Broadway in Week 7 (July 9-15), with all three tuners from Disney Theatrical Prods. logging sales of more than $1 million each — and one, “The Lion King,” breaking the $2 million mark to top the chart.“Lion King” ($2,002,353) has been in a tug-of-war over the No. 1 slot with “Wicked” ($1,980,214) for months now, and both those shows have made a habit of pulling in more than $2 million in a strong week. Disney’s “Mary Poppins” ($1,021,205) is prone to far more week-to-week fluctuation, but since the musical’s B.O. resurgence a few seasons ago, it seems to draw big crowds during family-friendly vacation frames such as the past week’s. With Disney’s new kid on the block, “Newsies” ($1,055,178), now looking like a consistent member of the millionaires’ club (at least for the summer), it seems that worries about the overextension of Disney’s Broadway brand are moot with these three shows on the boards. Also maintaining its strength was “Once” ($1,015,977), the Tony winner that has brought in million-dollar sales for the past month or so despite its modest scale. Another spring opener, “Evita” ($1,212,448), made a comeback to the top 10 with the return of topliner Ricky Martin, whose vacation had caused box office to plummet. Sales rose at the majority of individual productions. Among the two offerings joining the slate, “Bring It On” ($235,957 for four previews) posted solid numbers, playing to 95% capacity, whereas the restaging of “Fela!” ($238,642 for four previews and four perfs), a tough sell the first time around and now hampered by its last-minute addition to the summer sked, started slow. Overall, the Broadway cume rose about $1 million to $23.4 million for 28 shows on the boards. Attendance climbed to around 240,000, or 84% of the Rialto’s total capacity. The 19 musicals grossed $19,172,198 for 81.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 183,390 and an average paid admission of $104.55. The nine plays grossed $4,265,166 for 18.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 57,053 and an average paid admission of $74.76.